Dell Strategy Gets Mixed Review from Wikibon CTO David Floyer

Wikibon CTO David Floyer takes a detailed look at Dell’s present position and strategy going forward as presented at Dell World 2012 in his latest analysis on Wikibon. The result is definitely mixed. Dell scores high (8 out of 10) only in end-to-end security according to Floyer. It scores in the middle in low-cost mobile devices (8), management and automation software (4), and new-generation converged infrastructure (5) but very low in critical areas including software-led storage (1) and software defined networking. Its overall score is 4 out of 10.

Floyer is critical of Dell’s exclusive focus on Windows 8 for tablets , to the exclusion of Android, and its lip-service for Windows 8 RT, as opposed to Win8 Pro. He argues that low-cost mobile devices are taking a significant market share in the end-user device marketplace while sales of Windows laptops and desktops have declined. Windows 8 tablets, he predicts, will be heavier, have significantly less battery life, and be much more expensive than Android tablets and iPads. Therefore, he predicts, owners of those devices will want to use them instead of Windows 8 tablets for work when they are away from their desks. Dell’s tight focus on Windows 8 tablet and laptop/tablet convertible devices will lock it out of a significant portion, possibly the largest part, of the corporate mobile device market, therefore.

He argues based on Wikibon research that a series of disruptive technologies are revolutionizing the enterprise data center. These include flash-based persistent storage, software-led storage (SLS), and software defined networking (SDN). Dell’s lack of presence in these areas (concerning SLS Floyer writes, “Wikibon is not aware of any solutions or commitment to software from Dell, or any storage RESTful APIs that will allow Dell storage to be managed from other management software.”) leaves it in a lagging position as a vendor, behind HP, IBM, and EMC/Cisco, in this revolution.

In conclusion he urges CIOs, particularly in SMBs, to take a hard look at Dell’s products in light of the potential savings and business opportunities from software-led infrastructure, a.k.a. data center virtualization. They also should urge Dell to implement open APIs that will support unified management across the data center.

As with all Wikibon research, David’s complete analysis is available publicly without charge on the Wikibon. IT professionals are invited to register for free membership in Wikibon, which allows them to post comments and questions on research and publish their own Alerts and white papers for the Wikibon community. It also gets them invitations to Wikibon Peer Incite meetings, at which their peers discuss their experiences with leading edge products designed to solve pressing IT problems.